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The Celebration of Golden Week in Japan

During Golden Week, everything from Japanese restaurants and accommodations to trains and sightseeing spots become crowded with tourists. The reason for this is that the Golden Week is a collection of 4 national holidays, and it is one of Japan’s 3 busiest holiday seasons. Continue reading to learn about Golden Week celebrations in Japan.

Showa Day: April 29

Showa Day (Showa no Hi) celebrates the birthday of former Emperor Showa, who passed away in 1989. Up until 2006, another Golden Week holiday, Greenery Day, was celebrated on April 29.

Constitution Day: May 3

Constitution Day (Kenpo Kinenbi) is a patriotic holiday that commemorates the enactment of the post-war Japanese constitution, which took place in 1947. Citizens of the country hold the Japanese constitution as a point of pride. For many, this constitution is most well-known for Article 9, which prohibits Japan from participating in war activities, unless it is in self-defense.

Greenery Day: May 4

Formerly celebrated on Showa Day, which is on April 29 and marks the birthday of former Emperor Showa, Greenery Day (Midori no Hi) is a holiday that is dedicated to nature and the environment. This is because Emperor Showa loved plants and the outdoors. Interestingly, May 4 was already considered a national holiday because, by law, a day that falls in between 2 national holidays is declared and celebrated as a national holiday, as well.

Children’s Day: May 5

The final holiday of the Golden Week is Children's Day (Kodomo no Hi). On this day, families pray for the future success and health of their sons by celebrating the Boy's Festival (Tango no Sekku) and displaying samurai dolls and carp streamers, which symbolize success, power, and strength. On May 3, the Girl’s Festival is celebrated.

If you’d like to try authentic Japanese dining and teppanyaki in San Jose, then come and see us at House of Genji. To make your reservation at our Japanese steakhouse, please call (408) 453-8120.

How Is Tofu Made?

Tofu is a staple in every Japanese restaurant and a component of many traditional meals of Japan. If you enjoy Japanese food and tofu, then you may have found yourself wondering how this versatile ingredient is made.

Tofu can be cooked in many ways and is rich in iron, calcium, and amino acids. Also referred to as bean curd, tofu is derived from soybeans and is made by curdling fresh soy milk. The liquid is allowed to solidify into a block and is then cooled, similar to the way in which dairy cheese is traditionally made. Then, the remaining liquid is discarded, and the curds are pressed together. Tofu originated in China and is a staple in Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine.

Are you looking for delicious Japanese dining in San Jose? If so, then come and see us at House of Genji. Please call (408) 453-8120 to make your reservation.

Get a Look at How Sake Is Created

If you have never ordered sake when dining at a Japanese restaurant, then consider giving this beverage a try. Made primarily from rice, this traditional Japanese wine comes in many varieties and offers unique and delicious flavors. Watch this video to get a glimpse of how sake is made.

First, the rice is milled to remove lipids and proteins from the outside of the grain. Then, the grains are washed and soaked in cold, filtered water. Next, the rice is drained and poured into a steamer where it is cooked under pressure for approximately an hour. Finally, the rice is fermented along with water and yeast. After several weeks, the sake is filtered out and aged.

House of Genji Japanese Steakhouse features a cocktail lounge and offers fantastic Japanese food in San Jose. To find out more or make a reservation, please call (408) 453-8120.

Must-See Sites in Tokyo

When planning a trip to Tokyo, many people who are fans of the country’s food look forward to trying different Japanese restaurants while there. Continue reading to learn about what sites you should visit in between meals.

Meiji Shrine

Dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shōken, the Meiji shrine is the most famous Shinto shrine in the city and boasts a peaceful ambiance and austere appearance. The shrine was dedicated to Emperor Meiji of the 19 th century who is known for opening Japan to the West.

Tsukiji Fish Market

If you’re a fan of seafood or sushi, then the Tsukiji fish market deserves a spot on your Tokyo to-do list. However, keep in mind that most of the business here winds down by 9:00 am, so be sure to get there early. If you’re interested in seeing the live tuna auctions, then call ahead to learn if public access will be allowed on the day you’d like to visit. Outside the wholesale market, you’ll find stalls selling specialty items and fresh fish.

Yoyogi Park

If you’re looking for a stop that will brighten your day and fill the hours with various types of entertainment, then stop by Yoyogi Park. Here, you’ll see everything for play rehearsals and club meetings to dance and musical performances. For a more peaceful atmosphere, head to the north and west areas of the park. At Yoyogi Park, you can also rent bikes, buy a beer, or purchase snacks.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Where Yoyogi Park is highly entertaining, the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden is stunningly beautiful. This green space is particularly breathtaking in late March and early April when the cherry blossoms open. Be sure to pick up a map while you’re there, so you won’t miss any of the major gardens that are featured.

House of Genji is a Japanese steakhouse that offers teppanyaki Japanese dining in San Jose. To learn more or make a reservation, please call (408) 453-8120.

Highlighting Some of Japan's Most Interesting Traditions

Do you love visiting Japanese restaurants and trying new dishes? If so, then you may enjoy learning about some cultural practices of Japan. Read on to learn about some of the country’s most interesting traditions.

Bean Throwing

Celebrated on the night before the first day of spring, according to the Japanese lunar calendar, Setsubun is a holiday that is traditionally believed to mark a closer union between this world and that of spirits. For this reason, it’s said that demons are more likely to appear on this day, and parents in Japan wear scary masks to frighten children. In turn, children hurl toasted soybeans to scare away demons.

Mountain Burning

Yamayaki is a Japanese word that means burning down a mountain, and it’s also the name of a festival that involves burning away old vegetation from a mountainside before the coming of spring. This process is often a sight to behold, and today the tradition is often combined with fireworks shows.

Sumo Salting

Did you know that before beginning a match, sumo wrestlers toss salt into the air to purify the ring? Some wrestlers choose to add flare to the tradition by throwing the salt towards the ceiling in a dramatic fashion. This tradition stems from a ritual called Harae, which is used to purify Shinto shrines and is a practice that is said to drive away evil spirits.

Onsen Towels

Onsen are hot springs, and their use is a beloved pastime in Japan. According to tradition, the waters should be kept pure. For this reason, it’s important to clean oneself before entering an onsen, so a small towel is brought along. However, the towel is dirty once used for bathing, but there is typically nowhere to store the towel while using the onsen. To solve this issue and keep the waters pure, people traditionally fold the towel and store it on top of their head.

At House of Genji, our cocktail lounge and Japanese restaurant serving San Jose offers fantastic drinks, delicious teppanyaki, and authentic Japanese food. To schedule a reservation, please give us a call at (408) 453-8120.

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